From Bias and Blame to Balance: Sensitive Style for Covering Sexual Violence Conscious Style Guide

“When misconceptions prevail about what constitutes rape, who can be raped, who rapes, and who can prevent rape, editors can minimize unfair and inaccurate media coverage of sexual assault by flagging biased reporting and words that shift blame to the victim.”

Conscious Style Guide Appoints Henry Fuhrmann, Former Los Angeles Times Standards Editor, to Advisory Council | Conscious Style Guide

“My conversations with Henry are master classes on resolving sensitive language issues in the media,” said Karen Yin, founder of Conscious Style Guide. “We couldn’t be more honored to have someone of his prominence and with his leadership experience on our side.”

Why Are Asian Americans Missing From Our Textbooks | Pacific Standard

“When Asian Americans do make an appearance in lesson books, it is often laced with problems…. The textbooks often relied on tropes such as dragons, chopsticks, and ‘Oriental’ font to depict Asian Americans. The wide diversity of Asian Americans was overlooked; there was very little mention of South Asians or Pacific Islanders, for example.”

Dear Asian Americans: Stop Erasing Pacific Islanders | Reappropriate

“Does the term ‘Asian Pacific Islander’ contribute towards a tendency for many Asians to claim Pacific Islanders as part of the same monolithic racial community, and thereby unknowingly erase the Polynesian narrative?”

It’s Time for Silicon Valley to Disrupt Its Toxic Asian Stereotypes | Wired

“Hollywood seems loath to relinquish the ethnic jokes of the past, and so its new favorite thing is wrapping those racial gags in plausible deniability by having a heinous (or otherwise unpleasant) character utter them.”

Orientalist Caricatures of Chinatown Resurrected in the Pages of The New York Times | Reappropriate

“Literary Orientalism, which depicts all Chinese people as outrageous and exotic objects to be gawked at instead of understood, has long been rejected by Western scholars (and was always rejected by Eastern scholars) as a damning reflection of bigotry. It’s time that the New York Times caught up.”

Combatting Stereotypes: How to Talk to Your Children | The Conversation

“Parents might take care to say things that are positive, like ‘girls can be anything they want.’ But our research has found that, to the developing mind, even these positive statements can have negative consequences.”

Where Are All the Children’s Books Featuring Non-Traditional Families? | Role Reboot

“I don’t want to read my daughter ‘Heather Has Two Mommies.’ I want to read her ‘Heather and Her Two Mommies Have Awesome Adventures in Space.’”

Why Latinx Writers Should Decenter the Narratives That Have Been Weaponized Against Us | The Ploughshares Blog

“The most efficient way of decentering a stereotype is to look it in the eye. To explore the complexity of that stereotype and then reclaim it.”

Why We Use “Indigenous” Instead of “Aboriginal” | Animikii

“By intentionally calling out the antiquated language associated with [Canada’s National Aboriginal History Month], we hope to encourage more Canadians to consider the ways in which they think about Indigenous Peoples in this country.”

Please Stop Trying to “Empower” Women With Cutesy Titles | Fast Company

“We rarely use this kind of special (and sometimes infantilizing) language for other under-represented groups, and in many cases to do so would feel like a slur.”

Bad Blood: Changing the Conversation Around Menstruation | The McGill Tribune

“Menstruation stigma can be reduced by framing it in a positive light and by using inclusive language in discussions. It is important to remember to avoid phrases, like ‘feminine hygiene,’ and to opt for ‘menstrual hygiene,’ to make sure language is inclusive.”

Navigating Gender Neutral Terms and Symbology in College | The University Times

“Trans people are challenging…the idea that our identities are determined by official definitions handed down from on high by scientists or doctors or dictionary writers or whatever, and instead suggesting that the best way to understand gender is to think of how people understand themselves and their own experience.”
—Lal Zimman, sociocultural linguist at UC Santa Barbara

What Happened When I Started Saying “Not Yet” Instead of “No” | Fast Company

“Simply swapping a ‘no’ for a ‘not yet’ not only leaves the door open a crack, it also requires you to explain your decision and provide context.”

Nine Words and Phrases to Avoid When You’re Negotiating a Salary | Fast Company

“It’s important to be very clear with what you communicate to avoid ambiguity, which could complicate things and slow the negotiation process.”
—Josh Doody, author of “Fearless Salary Negotiation”

Berkeley Author George Lakoff Says, “Don’t Underestimate Trump” | Berkeleyside

“Progressives should start calling federal regulations ‘protections.’ If they start re-framing Trump’s promise as ‘getting rid of two-thirds of federal protections’…there might be less support for repealing federal regulations.”
—George Lakoff, author of “Don’t Think of an Elephant”

Donald Trump Has Free Speech Rights, Too | American Civil Liberties Union

“Incitement charges have been used to jail anti-war protestors, labor picketers, Communists, and civil rights activists. Over time, the Supreme Court learned from these mistakes and adopted a very speech-protective test to determine when incitement has taken place.”

The Perils of “Privilege”: Why Injustice Can’t Be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage | Bitch

In her new book, “The Perils of ‘Privilege,’” Phoebe Maltz Bovy “makes a compelling argument that many of us on the left end up using accusations of ‘privilege’ to discredit, silence, and tear each other down.”

Degendering the Language of Customer Service | Barista Magazine

“These small adjustments will help you not only to not misgender people out loud, but to actually neutralize gendered language in your mind before it even comes out of your mouth.”

The Conscious Style Guide newsletter rounds up the best news and blog posts from the world of kind, compassionate, mindful, empowering, respectful, and inclusive language. Note: Spotlighting an opinion is not intended as an endorsement. Please send news tips to

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